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Every Last Drop

Café Moto boasts a 12-hour cup of coffee

By Nate Martins

Imagine waiting 12 hours for your morning cup of coffee. That sounds like a slow, tortuous death by caffeine deficiency. The Kyoto drip at Café Moto takes 12 hours to brew, a process they’ve mastered, down to the droplet.

The Yama Cold Brew Drip Tower ($350-$400) looks more science project than coffee maker. The three-tier system is topped with a vat attached to a drip nozzle. Cold water drops singularly (one drop every two seconds) into a beaker holding 9.2 ounces of finely ground coffee. The droplet travels downward, extracting everything possible from the coffee, following a spiral into the final beaker, from which the coffee can be served. It takes almost two hours to see that first droplet hit the bottom beaker.

“Why the hell am I going to wait 12 hours for a cup of coffee?” you ask. Good question. The answer is twofold: caffeine content and taste.

It’s a common misconception: espresso is the highest octane. In fact, the longer it takes water to pass through the coffee determines the amount of caffeine. Espresso is brewed for 25 seconds, max. With all that time in the Kyoto drip, water pulls far more from grind.

Sans heat, the Kyoto bypasses that acidic, burnt bitterness that marks bad coffee. The coffee blend changes daily, but effects are the same: A full tasting cup of joe, one they recommend served on ice, black. It’s not at all diluted, just smoother, and easier on the tummy.

“We start the process right when we open,” says Adriana Uriostegui, a Café Moto employee. “That way, by the time we close, you can pull it out and refrigerate the coffee to use the next day.”

Twelve hours still too long? Try 24. Café Moto employs the Toddy method, where they choose to brew for an entire day. In a plastic bucket, five pounds of ground coffee sits in a mesh strainer (after water has been poured over it) for however long the brewer chooses.

Café Moto began as a division of Pannikin Coffee and Tea. Second generation owners, Torrey and Kim Lee incorporated Café Moto in 1998 at their J street location as a roaster and distributer, selling coffee and barista gear to restaurants and coffee aficionados alike. In 2006, they moved to Barrio Logan (2619 National Ave) where the café has only been around two years.

“We want people to know us for our coffee,” Uriostegui says.

Every Last Drop

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